Admission Information

Is the Japanese Studies MA Right for You...?

Please use the navigation links on the top right and read the sections on this website on the various degree options to see the different degree programs in Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan (see links for the MA in Japanese Studies, Dual Degrees, and Other Degree Programs). The Center for Japanese Studies accepts applications only for its Master of Arts in Japanese Studies Program and its associated dual degree programs. If you are interested in undergraduate or doctoral study, please see the Other Degree Programs section and find the appropriate place to submit your application.

Is University of Michigan Right for You...?

To find out more about students' perspectives on what it's like to be a graduate student at the University of Michigan and to live in Ann Arbor, we recommend the following resources from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, under whose auspices the Center's graduate programs are offered:

Life at Michigan on the Rackham website offers links to various campus and community resources, including:

Rackham Videos on YouTube offers a series of student-to-student videos comprised of interviews with current graduate students on a variety of topics:

Register as a Prospective Student

We strongly encourage you to register as a prospective student on the Rackham Graduate School website.  Completing this registration process will get you an UM ID number, which will expedite the processing of your application later.  Registering as a prospective student is an expression of your interest and is not a commitment to apply for admission.  To register as a prospective student, go to this Rackham webiste and click on the blue button labeled Register as a Prospective Student:

When You're Ready to Apply...

Please read the information in the sections below to get an overview of the application process,  the minimum requirements you must meet to apply for the MA, and the qualifications that the Center looks for in successful applicants.  Click on the section title to display detailed information.  Then, proceed to the Application Materials section of this site for more detailed information and instructions on how to submit your application.

Admission Requirements and Desired QualificationsMinimum requirements for MA application & desired qualifications

In order to be considered for admission to the MA in Japanese Studies, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor's Degree: Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association; or Completion of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education or Commission responsible for higher education in the country where the degree is earned.  Students who are currently enrolled in the last year of their bachelor's degree program and anticipate graduating prior to the beginning of the fall term will also be considered for admission.
  • English Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are required to provide an official score report.  For more details on acceptable tests and minimum scores, see the Application Materials section, Item 11.

In addition, the Admission Committee looks for the following desirable qualifications in applicants.  Although these qualification are not required for admission, meeting one or more of these qualifications generally enhances the application:

  • Japanese Language Proficiency: Prior study of Japanese language, whether by formal courses or by living in Japan, is strongly encouraged.  Applicants with no practical proficiency in Japanese language (less than one year of college level Japanese) may still apply but must demonstrate an ability to learn a foreign language and a strong commitment to learning Japanese.
  • Courses on Japan-Related Topics: An undergraduate major or minor in Japanese Studies, East Asian Studies, or Asian Studies is not a prerequisite for admission; however, some prior coursework on Japan-related topics in the humanities and the social sciences in addition to Japanese language is strongly encouraged.
  • Studying, Living, or Working in Japan:  Whether in a study abroad program, short term study tour, or employment, being in-country is a valuable learning experience.

Admission Process Overview

All students applying for graduate study at the University of Michigan apply to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies for admission. The Center for Japanese Studies reviews the applications and recommends students to Rackham for admission. Rackham then reviews the applicant's credentials and makes offers of admission. Please review the Rackham minimum requirements for admission before proceeding with the application process.

The Center for Japanese Studies admits students to its Master of Arts programs once a year for the fall term. The application deadline is January 10 each year for the fall term beginning in September of the same year. Applications are reviewed by the CJS Admissions and Fellowships Committee, which is composed of faculty members of the Center.  Admission decisions are sent by US mail (airmail for overseas applicants) and postmarked by March 15.  The Center does not disclose admission decision of individual applicants by phone or email.

Please use the navigation links to the right of this page for more detailed information about the admission application process.

Go to the Application Materials section for detailed information and instructions on how to prepare and submit the required application materials and links to the online application system.

If you are applying to a dual/joint degree program, please be sure to read the additional information in the Dual Degrees section.

Financing Your Graduate EducationTuition, cost of living, fellowships and financial aid

Tuition and Living Expenses

Tuition and fees are set annually by the University of Michigan Board of Regents.  Current tuition information is available on the Office of Registrar website.  Scroll down the page to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts section and use the Rackham link to get to the correct tuition rate for CJS MA students.

Rackham Graduate School's website has basic information on the cost of attendance for graduate students with links to further information.

Office of Financial Aid's website contains an estimated budget for tuition, books and living expenses.

Merit-Based Fellowships

Detailed information about merit-based fellowships for students available from the Center for Japanese Studies is presented in the Student Funding section of this website.  Incoming CJS MA students (students applying for admission) are eligible to apply for the following fellowships:

  • Japan Foundation Graduate Fellowship: available only to incoming CJS MA students and requires additional application materials in addition to admission application.  Please see the fellowship web page for more information.
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship: Administered by the East Asia National Resource Center, of which CJS is part, this fellowship provides full tuition and stipend for the study of Japanese language and area studies.  Must be US citizen or permanent resident at the time of application.  Incoming CJS MA students are eligible to be considered for the Academic Year fellowship and apply for it by answering the appropriate questions on the admission application.
  • CJS Academic Year Fellowship: Administered by the Center, this fellowship provides tuition support that ranges from a few thousand dollars to full tuition.  Incoming CJS MA students apply for this fellowship by answering the appropriate questions on the admission application.

In addition, the Center encourages students to apply for external fellowships and scholarships from government agencies and foundations.

Need-Based Financial Aid

The Center is unable to provide merit-based funding to all admitted students.  The majority of students in the MA program pay their own way through a combination of their own savings, family support, part time employment, and need based financial aid.

Students who are US citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for need-based financial aid through the Office of Financial Aid.  Need based financial aid for graduate students uses a different formula to calculate financial need than that for undergraduates; because parental contribution is not expected for graduate education, most graduate students qualify for need based financial aid.  Typical need based financial aid package for graduate students consists mostly of subsidized and unsubsidized loans, with small amounts of work-study and grants.  For more information on need based financial aid for graduate students, see this page on the Office of Financial Aid website.

Assistantships and Part Time Employment

It is possible for qualified CJS MA students to be appointed to teaching or research assistantships though this is quite rare.  Teaching assistantships, called Graduate Student Instructorships (GSI) at UM, are posted and hired by individual teaching units (departments).  CJS is NOT a teaching unit and does not have GSI appointments.  All open GSI positions are posted on the University of Michigan's employment site (; use the menu on the left of this site for "Graduate Student Appointments" to look for postings.  Research assistants are hired by individual faculty and may be paid by the hour or on a salaried appointment.

Students work a variety of part time jobs on campus from checking out books at the library to assisting faculty with research.  Student positions are administered by the Office of Student Employment (; open positions are listed on this website.

After Application SubmissionAdditional information and resources

Once you submit your application, you may also be interested in the following additional information on this website.  Use the list below, or the navigation links on the right.